Low altitude airspace

While we are often stuck in traffic on the ground, the skies offer the potential of a new frontier. Advancements in battery technology and other technologies have made drones a more critical part of infrastructure operations and have expanded the opportunity for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicles. Cities and companies around the world have begun to explore potential applications for these technologies from package delivery to expediting trips from the airport to downtown, there is broad promise of leveraging the capacity of the low altitude airspace. This topic area will explore the potential of drones and VTOL and define what we need to get there.

Value of drones and VTOL

Urban use-cases of drones and VTOL are currently in their early development. This sub-topic will explore the potential use-cases and the value add from an economic and environmental perspective. One key area of inquiry includes:

  • What are the most compelling use-cases for drones and VTOL from a public perspective?
  • What kinds of information is needed in order to develop effective regulation?
  • Are there cultural impediments or privacy concerns?

Facilitating drone and VTOL adoption

To effectively distribute the value of drone and VTOL adoption, we need to investments in infrastructure, regulatory frameworks, and low altitude airspace. This sub-section will study the following questions:

  • What are the critical investments that need to be made to support these technologies? Should these investments be led by the public or private sectors?
  • What level of government should regulate low altitude airspace? Should national level governments or localities take the lead?